How Do I Get a Home Insurance Quote Online?
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You should provide your new insurance company with your name and contact information, how many people live with you and your claims history when shopping for a home insurance quote. Read to see what other information you should make available for your carrier and how you can find the best rate available.
What Information Is Needed To Get Home Insurance Quotes?
Make sure you have your personal information, your current home insurance information and any additional information about your living space. You can get a better idea of everything you should provide to your new carrier below.
1. Personal Identification Information
When buying homeowners insurance, the quote process will usually require the following information:
- Your name
- Social security number (SSN)
- Marital status
- Home address
Insurance companies use this information to create a profile to help them determine your homeowners insurance premiums. In particular, the insurance company will use your SSN to run a credit check on you. Those with good credit generally enjoy lower home insurance premiums. On the other hand, if you have poor credit, you'll typically pay more for coverage.
2. Your Current Home Insurance Coverage Details
Insurers may ask for the name of your current provider and how long you've had your policy. Keep in mind that if you’re a homeowner with no home insurance, carriers will consider this a lapse in coverage, which will usually result in higher premiums. You may also volunteer what you're currently paying for your homeowners insurance coverage to use as a point of negotiation.
3. Coverage Options, Limits and Start Date
The coverage and limits you choose for a homeowners insurance policy will help determine how much you pay for coverage. For example, you may want to add scheduled property coverage to your policy for an additional cost, which will increase your coverage limits for your jewelry, furs, antiques and other valuables.
Also, let the agent know about your planned start date for your home insurance. You may need this information for your lender if you're financing your home.
4. How Many People and Pets Live With You
If you have a larger household, you may need to increase your personal property coverage limits to adequately cover all of the belongings inside your home. Additionally, if you have frequent visitors or guests, your liability risk may be higher and you may need more liability coverage.
The type of pets you have can also impact your insurance rates. Some insurance companies consider certain dog breeds to be of higher risk and charge higher premiums as a result. Your insurer may even exclude coverage for certain dog breeds. Similarly, if you have exotic pets or a large number of pets, you may need additional coverage to protect against liability claims related to these animals.
5. Property Age, Size and Current Condition
In general, older homes cost more to insure because the roof may be worn out and the utilities may be outdated. So if you have your eye on a newer or brand-new home, you'll pay a little less in homeowners insurance.
The larger your home, the more you will pay for insurance. A small one-bedroom property will generally cost less to insure than a two-story house with a yard. So have your home's dimensions ready when you talk to an insurance agent.
Older roofs made of less durable materials often cost more to insure. Older roofs are often more susceptible to damage from weather events like wind, hail and heavy rain. Roofs made of more durable materials will also usually result in lower premiums. Metal and tile, for example, are more durable and can withstand severe weather events better than asphalt shingles.
The materials used to build your home will affect your home insurance quote. Different materials have varying degrees of resistance to damage from weather events, fire and other hazards. For example, brick and stone homes are generally more resistant to fire and wind than homes made of wood or vinyl siding. Similarly, homes made of stucco or concrete may be more resistant to damage from wind and hail than homes with traditional siding.
Be sure to notify your insurer of other structures on the property. Having a detached garage, shed, additional dwelling unit (ADU) or RV shelter can cause your home insurance quote to go up.
6. Home Renovations and Home Repairs
Don't be surprised if an insurance agent asks about updates or modifications made to your property. This can include kitchen and bathroom models, adding a deck to your backyard or building out an additional room. Updates like these can potentially lower your homeowners insurance costs because updated furniture and appliances mean a smaller likelihood of an accident occurring.
For instance, let's say you renovate your kitchen by updating the cabinetry with fire-resistant material and you update all of the electrical outlets. This makes your home safer and thus, a lower risk for home insurance providers.
7. Security and Safety Features
Insurance companies often offer smart home discounts for homes equipped with smart cameras, alarms and locks. You may see additional savings if you have smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, deadbolts and other security features.
Keep in mind, insurance companies may require certain security and safety features to be in place before they will offer coverage. For example, some insurance companies may require homes in areas with high rates of burglary to have a security system installed before they will offer coverage.
8. Mortgage Information
A home insurance quote may require your mortgage lender’s information because many homeowners are required to escrow their insurance payments. Also, your lender may require you to have a certain level of insurance coverage to protect their investment in the property. This coverage is called a "mortgagee clause" and ensures your lender is included in any payment made by your insurance company.
9. Claims History
Your insurance claims history includes past claims you've made with your current and previous providers.
Additionally, your claims history may also impact the type of coverage available to you. For example, if you have made multiple claims for water damage in the past, your insurance company may exclude coverage for water damage claims or require you to pay a higher premium for said coverage.
Where you live will determine your home insurance quote because certain risk factors will vary by location. For example, if there are several documented burglaries in your area, your quote may be higher because it increases the likelihood that you will file a vandalism or theft claim.
Insurance companies will also look at your fire protection class, which is a measurement of how well your community can respond to fires. For example, if you live close to a fire station, you will generally pay less on your insurance than someone who lives far away from one.
Keep in mind that lenders may require you to buy additional coverage if you live in a high-risk zone. For example, if you’re financing a coastline property, buying flood insurance may be a necessary condition for closing on your mortgage.
Where Can I Get a Home Insurance Quote?
Getting quotes online or talking to an insurance agent are the primary ways to get home insurance quotes.
Many insurance companies have an online quote process, in which you can enter your details on their website and it will generate a quote. Alternatively, you can use an insurance comparison site like SmartFinancial to quickly get home insurance quotes.
If you need a more personal touch when it comes to insuring your home, you can seek the aid of an insurance agent. They’ll ask you a series of questions to assess the cost of the coverage you need. Keep in mind that getting a quote this way is not always instant and it may take them time to provide a quote for you.
How Do I Compare Home Insurance Quotes Online?
To get a home insurance quote online, you can either go to each insurance company’s website and plug in all the pertinent information or you can use a comparison marketplace like SmartFinancial to do the legwork for you. In either event, learning how to compare home insurance quotes properly will require you to compile multiple quotes so you can judge which provider is best for you.
Also, look up customer reviews of the various insurance providers. You may end up wanting to go with a carrier that charges slightly more but has a better user experience.
How Do I Get the Best Home Insurance Quote?
Get quotes from multiple carriers as well as ask for discounts so you get the best quote possible. This is called shopping around and doing it at least once per year is one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the cheapest rate at that time. Read below for other ways on how to get a home insurance quote for cheap.
Drop Coverage You Don’t Need
Your home insurance needs may change over time and down the line, you may be paying for coverage you may not need. For instance, some insurance companies will offer a business property rider to protect home-based businesses. If you still work out of your home, keep the coverage. If the business has grown and is located elsewhere or it no longer exists, drop it to lower your premium.
Bundling your insurance plans can often lead to cost savings, with discounts ranging from 10% to 25%, depending on the insurance company and policies being bundled.
However, it's important to note that bundling may not always result in cost savings. Separate plans from different carriers may be more cost-effective in certain cases. For example, one insurance company may offer low pricing for auto insurance but higher pricing for homeowners insurance, resulting in a bundled discount that is not significant enough to result in any actual savings.
Increase Your Deductible
Increasing your deductible can help you get a good home insurance quote because it means that you'll be responsible for paying more out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. By increasing your deductible, you're essentially taking on more risk and reducing the insurer's potential risk. As a result, insurance companies offer lower premiums to customers with higher deductibles.
Ask for Discounts
Insurance companies offer a wide array of discounts apart from bundling. Below is a list of some of the discounts you can ask about when speaking with your provider.
|Claims free discount
|Gated community discount
|Home improvement discount
|Monitored burglar system discount
|New home discount
Work on Your Credit
A good credit score indicates to insurers that you are financially responsible and may be less likely to file a claim. As a result, insurance companies may offer you lower premiums. However, the use of credit as a rating factor may be limited or illegal in certain states.
Secure Your Home
Insurance companies view security systems as a deterrent to theft and burglary, which reduces the risk of filing a claim. For this reason, many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install security systems.
A security system can include various features, such as burglar alarms, motion detectors and surveillance cameras. The level of discount you can receive may vary depending on the type of security system you install and the insurance company you are working with. In general, the more comprehensive and effective the security system, the greater the discount you may be eligible for.